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Beverly Hills USD |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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The Board of Education authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy by which students in grades K-12 may reach curriculum objectives and fulfill graduation requirements. Independent study shall offer a means of individualizing the educational plan for students whose needs may be met best through study outside of the regular classroom setting.

The Superintendent or designee shall determine that the prospective independent study student understands and is prepared to meet the district's requirements for independent study. Independent study entails a commitment by both the parent/guardian and the student. As the student gets older, he/she assumes a greater portion of the responsibility involved. Independent study may be offered only to students who can achieve in this program as well as or better than they would in the regular classroom.

A student's participation in independent study shall be voluntary. Students participating in independent study shall have the right, at any time, to enter or return to the regular classroom mode of instruction. (Education Code 51747; 5 CCR 11700)

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that a written independent study agreement, as prescribed by law, exists for each participating student. (Education Code 51747)

The Board recognizes that independent study may be used as an option to encourage students to remain in school. Teachers should carefully set the duration of independent study assignments, within the limits specified by the Board in order to help identify students falling behind in their work or in danger of failing or dropping out of school. Except in unusual circumstances, it is expected that the supervising teacher will meet with each participating student at least once a week to discuss the student's progress.

To foster each student's success in independent study, the Board establishes the following maximum lengths of time which may elapse between the time an assignment is made and date by which the student must complete the assigned work shall be as follows:

1. For students in grades K-3: 1 week

2. For students in grades 4-8: 2 weeks

3. For students in grads 9-12: 3 weeks

The independent study "written master" agreement, including the beginning and ending dates for the student's participation, shall be valid for a period no longer than one semester, or one-half year for a school on a year-round calendar. When circumstances justify a longer time, the Superintendent or designee may extend the maximum length of an assignment to a period not to exceed eight weeks, pursuant to a written request with justification.

When any student fails to complete three consecutive independent study assignments in a period of 15 school days, or misses two appointments with his/her supervising teacher without valid reasons, an evaluation shall be conducted to determine whether it is in the student's best interest to remain in independent study. Review findings shall be kept in the student's permanent record.

The Superintendent or designee shall annually report to the Board an evaluation of the program, including overall enrollment in the program and measurable performance outcomes, including academic performance of students and graduation rate and college/career indicators.

The Superintendent or designee shall encourage parents/guardians desiring to teach their children at home to have their children participate in independent study. Such participation allows continued contact and cooperation between the school system and the home-based student.

Legal Reference:


17289 Exemption for facilities

41976.2 Independent study programs; adult education funding

42238 Revenue limits

42238.05 Local control funding formula; average daily attendance

44865 Qualifications for home teachers and teachers in special classes and schools; consent to assignment

46300-46300.6 Methods of computing ADA

48220 Classes of children exempted

48340 Improvement of pupil attendance

48915 Expulsion; particular circumstances

48917 Suspension of expulsion order

51225.3 Requirements for high school graduation

51745-51749.3 Independent study programs

52001 Improvement of elementary and secondary education: legislative intent

52015 School improvement plans: components of plan

52017 Secondary schools: additional plan components

56026 Individual with exceptional needs


6550 Authorization affidavits


11700-11703 Independent study


6301 Highly qualified teachers


Modesto City Schools v. Education Audits Appeal Panel, (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1365


Lucerne Valley Unified School District, Case No. 03-02 (2005)

Management Resources:


1113.09 Independent Study: New Legislation, SPB: 90/91-04

0904.86 Independent Study, SPB: 86/7-5


Independent Study Operations Manual, 1993 revised edition, updated 1994, 1996




adopted: February 9, 2016 Beverly Hills, California